Last week, I spent time at the beach with my two sisters and their families, as well as my husband’s family.
It was fun, as always, and part of my fun was quizzing down my teenage nieces (one of whom rode down with me) on what junior high and high school are like these days. Having four daughters, I like to know what lies ahead. I want to prepare them the best I can for real-life situations.
I often say high school today is the new college; junior high is the new high school. Much of what I heard validated this theory. Kids today grow up so fast. They know and see things at an earlier age than we parents like to believe.
A few of my nieces brought down friends. This made for NINE TEENAGERS under one roof. Over the course of several days, we had interesting conversations that gave me a multitude of column ideas.
And what I’ve opted to write about first is a subject close to every teenage girl’s heart: BOYS.
Times may have changed, but boys haven’t. Things that irked me when I was young still irk girls today. The qualities I was drawn to – a sense of humor, kindness, respect, character, genuine faith – are still just as appealing.
I could spell out what girls like in a boy, but since that gets cliché, I’ve created instead a list of how to send the girls running. Note that I haven’t pulled this out of thin air; every point was inspired by real-life dating experience – in some cases, my own.
Listen up, fellas, because you may learn a thing or two.
13 WAYS TO LOSE A TEENAGE GIRL
#12 - Don’t make us laugh. Girls HATE to laugh. Ice breakers are overrated, and who wants to feel more comfortable around the opposite sex? Seriously, reign in your funny side. It only works against you.
#11 - Never let a pretty girl pass without blurting out how beautiful she is. Watching you drool over her boosts our confidence. The best is when you talk about how hot our friend is. We love that!
#10 - Be rude to our parents and siblings. Their opinion means nothing to us. Especially our dad – we’d never trust his judgment about a guy.
#9 - Don’t brush your hair, use deodorant, or practice good hygiene. Boys who look good and smell nice repulse us.
#8 - Dress sloppy. Whatever you sleep in, wear it to school. Avoid white button downs, collared shirts, pastels, and anything that makes you look put together.
#7 - Disrespect authority, including your parents. Talk back to teachers. Be rude to waitresses and anyone else you feel is below you. Showing poor character puts points in your corner.
#6 - Lie and cheat, but be upfront about one thing: On our first date, tell us no boy is capable of being faithful to a girl. Ever. State it as a fact, leaving no room to argue. Every girl dreams of dating a two-timing scoundrel.
#5 - Treat us like a buddy. Demonstrate and talk about all the gross things boys do around each other. When we’re with your friends, ignore us. It’s okay to treat us like a queen in private, then forget us in public.
#4 - Criticize us. Tell us where we need to lose weight and point out flaws. Those things you hear about girls being sensitive and insecure? Not true. Especially in matters of appearance, negativity rolls off our shoulders.
#3 – Throw good manners and old-fashioned values like honor and chivalry out the window. We don’t like guys who open the door, pull out our chair, or insist on paying for a date. When we go out, leave your wallet at home. Nothing makes a girl feel as special as a guy who forgets to plan.
#2 – Follow the crowd and be a puppet to your friends. Who wants a guy with a spine, someone who can think and decide for himself? If our safety or reputation is at stake, don’t worry about protecting us, or defending our honor. Throw us under the bus if necessary. No need to get your hands dirty on our behalf.
#1 – Disrespect women. This world needs more men willing to be jerks! When your mom tries to teach you how girls think and feel, ignore her. When your dad suggests you treat a girl like you’d want someone to treat your little sister, laugh in his face. Just trust your most selfish instincts and you’ll be fine. Also, trash-talk your mom in front of us. Hearing you bash the most important woman in your life really makes us want a future with you!
Now, before anyone gets defensive, or accuses me of talking smack about today’s sons, let me clarify that I know plenty of fine young men and parents doing an excellent job raising them. They don’t need this tongue-in-cheek list except for maybe a laugh. As a girl mom, I appreciate the efforts these parents make. I’m thankful to know that boys who look out for girls exist, and I pray it’s this type who’ll be drawn to my daughters as they enter the dating world.
At the same time, I can’t ignore that some guys have no clue about the opposite sex. That some parents overuse the excuse “boys will be boys” to chalk up poor behavior that could be turned into teachable moments while their sons are young and impressionable.
It’s a hot topic for me because I care about young girls. I care how today’s boys are being raised for the same reason boy moms care how I’m raising my daughters. We all look out for our kids.
And because are two sides to every coin, and girls could benefit from some pointers too, I could easily write a “13 Ways to Lose a Teenage Boy.” Trust me, I know the guys deserve a voice, too, and depending on how this article resonates I may follow-up with a counter.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Any insights or observations on today’s dating world? Are there qualities you feel compelled to instill in your son or daughter? I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you’re a parent or a teenager, in a comment below.
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Posted by Kari on July 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm